The Paw Print
The lunch time talk on Thursday, April 8 with John A. Auxier was about his experiences with nuclear bomb testing. Dr. Auxier’s resume is very impressive. He got his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, he holds tenure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and he worked at the University of Texas where he was appointed chairman of the department of physics and engineering of the radiobiological laboratory.
The power point talk presented on Thursday showed the effects on the world, people, and the dangers of nuclear bombs. The main topics were accidents, why they happened, how they could have been prevented, and how people cope with them.
When the talk first started, Dr. Auxier showed pictures of the devastating effects the atomic bomb had on Hiroshima. Also, he showed the actual bomb dropped on Nagasaki, the “Fat Man Bomb.” The land was not the only thing devastated by the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The effects on the people of Japan showed for many years after. People who survived the bomb were horribly disabled and had disabled children years later. The most interesting thing Dr. Auxier talked about was the relationship between the distance people where from the drop site and the effect that the radiation had on them. People who were somewhat close to the drop site had less damage than people farther away. This lead Dr. Auixer to talk about a project called NTS (1958) headed by the Atomic Bomb Causality Commission to see the effects that radiation and distance have on people and things near the place a bomb was dropped.
Dr. Auxier also talked about different nuclear accidents that have happened in the last 50 years. In the Vinca Yugoslavia accident, the people running the site ran a reactor without all the safety equipment properly installed, and a distracted woman overran the reactor. After the accident the woman died and the reactor stayed dormant due to peoples’ fear of it. In the Three Mile Island accident, a reactor melted down. At the Y-12 accident site, there was a uranium leak.
Dr. Auxier was a very interesting speaker, and was welcomed graciously.